Chapter 17.470


17.470.010    Purpose.

17.470.020    Exemptions.

17.470.030    Application requirements.

17.470.040    Wireless communication facilities – Permitted uses.

17.470.050    Wireless communication facilities – Site development standards.

17.470.060    Conditional use permit (CUP).

17.470.070    Notification to Kitsap County Central Communications (CENCOM).

17.470.010 Purpose.

In addition to the general purposes of the Kitsap County Comprehensive Plan and this title, this wireless communication facilities section is intended to:

A.    Provide for a wide range of locations and options for wireless communication providers while minimizing the visual impacts to surrounding properties associated with wireless communication facilities;

B.    Encourage creative approaches in locating wireless communication facilities which will be compatible with the surroundings;

C.    Encourage and facilitate co-location of antennas, support structures and related equipment for wireless communication providers, public service communications and emergency service communications;

D.    Provide for a process to locate and identify new site locations in a comprehensive manner which allows for substantial public participation; and

E.    Encourage the use of alternative technology.

(Ord. 415 (2008) § 218, 2008: Ord. 281 (2002) § 13, 2002: Ord. 216 (1998) § 4 (part), 1998)

17.470.020 Exemptions.

All of the following are exempt from the regulation of this chapter:

A.    Emergency or routine repairs, reconstruction, or routine maintenance of previously approved facilities, or replacement of transmitters, antennas, or other components of previously approved facilities which do not create a significant change in visual impact or an increase in radio frequency emission levels;

B.    Military and civilian radar, operating within the regulated frequency ranges, for the purpose of defense or aircraft safety;

C.    Amateur and citizen band transmitters and antennas;

D.    Two-way communication transmitters used on a temporary basis by “911” emergency services, including fire, police, and emergency aid or ambulance service; and

E.    Antennas located wholly within another structure, and not visible outside the host structure.

(Ord. 216 (1998) § 4 (part), 1998)

17.470.030 Application requirements.

A.    Wireless communication providers shall meet with the department to discuss the providers’ plans for construction of new facilities to coordinate regional planning for the new year to identify the preferred network.

B.    Before an application for a conditional use permit is submitted, all new site locations requiring a support structure in excess of thirty-five feet in height and not implementing alternative technology must be reviewed in a manner consistent with the Kitsap County Comprehensive Plan regarding essential public facilities. This section does not apply to those applications which qualify as a co-location site where previous site approval has been granted for a support structure.

C.    The department will develop and maintain a geographic information system database that will identify the preferred network. This database will depict all existing and proposed wireless communication support structure locations. Locations will be mapped with the adopted Comprehensive Plan land use maps with all publicly owned lands identified. This database will be provided to all wireless communication facility applicants and to the public.

D.    In addition to other requirements, the applications shall include the following items at a minimum:

1.    Site and landscape plans drawn to scale;

2.    A report including a description of the tower with technical reasons for its design;

3.    Documentation establishing the structural integrity for the tower’s proposed uses;

4.    The general capacity of the tower, and information necessary to assure that ANSI standards are met;

5.    A statement of intent on whether excess space on the site will be leased;

6.    Proof of ownership of the proposed site or authorization to utilize it;

7.    Copies of any easements necessary;

8.    An analysis of the area containing existing topographical contours; and

9.    A visual study depicting where within a one-mile radius any portion of the proposed tower could be seen.

(Ord. 415 (2008) § 219, 2008: Ord. 281 (2002) § 14, 2002: Ord. 216 (1998) § 4 (part), 1998)

17.470.040 Wireless communication facilities – Permitted uses.

A.    Wireless Communication Support Structures.

1.    Any support structure constructed greater than thirty-five feet in height shall be subject to the provisions of Section 17.470.050(B) and (C).

2.    Support structures are subject to the site development standards of Section 17.470.060. A lattice support structure shall not be permitted unless it is demonstrated that an existing communication structure or a mono-pole is not available or that the existing location does not satisfy the operational requirements of the applicant.

3.    All new wireless communication support structures greater than thirty-five feet in height which do not employ alternative technology must obtain a conditional use permit (CUP).

B.    Wireless Communication Antenna Arrays.

1.    Wireless communication antenna arrays not exceeding thirty-five feet in height are permitted on existing structures in any zone. Arrays shall not add more than thirty-five feet in height to the existing building or structure to which it is attached. When antenna arrays are proposed on single-family dwellings and associated accessory structures, they shall be subject to administrative conditional use permit (ACUP) review, and are subject to the provisions of Section 17.470.050(C) and (D).

2.    Wireless communication antenna arrays exceeding thirty-five feet in height are subject to the standards for wireless communication support structures in Section 17.470.050.

3.    Mini and micro antenna arrays are allowed on existing utility poles. Furthermore, existing poles may be extended in height up to fifty percent to accommodate antennas. Ground support facilities, when existing utility poles are utilized, shall be subject to administrative conditional use permit (ACUP) review and subject to the requirements of Section 17.470.050(B).

C.    Construction of equipment shelters, cabinets, and other ancillary equipment not located on or in an existing structure shall be subject to administrative conditional use permit (ACUP) review and the site development standards of Section 17.470.050.

(Ord. 367 (2006) § 120, 2006: Ord. 281 (2000) § 15, 2002: Ord. 216 (1998) § 4 (part), 1998)

17.470.050 Wireless communication facilities – Site development standards.

A.    Viewscapes.

1.    A support structure shall not be considered compatible with surrounding land uses if within a one mile radius it results in more than a moderate visual impact upon a significant viewscape such as mountain views, views of water bodies, and/or open expansive views such as valleys. Visual impacts and mitigation shall be determined through the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) process until such time as specific criteria are adopted by the department.

2.    A visual impact analysis will be required when it appears a support structure imposes more than a moderate visual impact on viewscapes. The impact analysis will be accomplished within the proposed site through: (i) the erection of a crane; (ii) a balloon (of a size not less than four feet and not to exceed six feet) in a color similar to that of the proposed structure; or (iii) similar devices used to simulate the proposed dimensions and height of the structure.

3.    Ten working days prior to the demonstration, the applicant shall notify the county and provide a courtesy informational notice to properties identified by the county as being within four hundred feet of the subject parcel upon which the visual compatibility test will be conducted. The potential impact shall be documented through submittal of maps, photographs, photo-simulation, and other appropriate methods.

B.    Landscaping and Screening.

1.    In all zones equipment shelters, cabinets, and other on-the-ground ancillary equipment shall be subject to landscape screening requirements, and shall be constructed with a screening buffer. The buffer requirement shall be contained in a recorded easement. Vegetation shall not be removed without approval by the department of community development. Fencing shall be a non-obtrusive material such as a dark coated chain link to blend in with the surroundings.

2.    In residential zones, or non-residential zones where the support structure site is within three hundred feet of an existing residential zone, the ground level view of support structures shall be mitigated by the retention of existing trees with sufficient height that will provide a functional screen of a substantial portion of the structure height. A screening buffer used to mitigate visual impacts upon adjacent residential properties may be required as determined by site specific conditions. Additional plantings and fencing may be used to reduce the width necessary for buffering. A monopole support structure is preferred unless it can be demonstrated that a lattice tower can be adequately screened.

3.    In non-residential zones, performance based developments (PBDs) (commercial and industrial), or interim rural forest zones, screening of support structures shall be accomplished through a landscaping buffer. A monopole structure is preferred and is exempt from buffer requirements in PBDs (commercial and industrial) and interim rural forest zones.

C.    Color and Lighting.

1.    Antenna arrays located on an existing structure shall be placed and colored to blend into the architectural detail and coloring of the structure.

2.    Support structures shall be painted in a non-reflective, earth tone color that best allows them to blend into the surroundings.

3.    Flashing red, solid red, or white strobe lighting shall not be allowed on any support structure except those included in permanent 911 public safety communication facilities, including fire, police and emergency medical response services, and located at ground elevations above seven hundred feet and more than one-half mile from any residential area. Any structure subsequently determined by the FAA to require flashing red, solid red, or white strobe lighting shall be altered to avoid lighting requirements. Security lighting which is appropriately down shielded is permitted for the equipment shelters, cabinets, and/or other on-the-ground ancillary equipment in accordance with the section below.

4.    Exterior Lighting. In all zones, performance based developments and conditional uses, artificial outdoor lighting shall be arranged so that light is directed away from adjoining properties and so that no more than one foot candle of illumination leaves the property boundaries.

D.    Electromagnetic Field/Radio-Frequency Radiation Standards. Installation of a wireless communication facility shall conform to standards required by the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) regulations and the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

E.    Sharing of Support Structure and Co-Location of Facilities.

1.    It is the policy of Kitsap County to minimize the number of wireless communication support structures and require co-location when appropriate. The county will pursue all reasonable strategies to promote co-location of facilities including emergency service communication facilities.

2.    No new wireless communication support structure sites may be allowed within one mile of an existing support structure, unless it can be demonstrated that the existing support structure site is not available for co-location, or it does not satisfy the operational requirements of the applicant.

3.    The applicant shall provide the following: A copy of the applicant’s co-location evaluation study including:

Certification that the following notice was mailed to all other wireless providers licensed to provide service within Kitsap County:

Pursuant to the requirements of the Kitsap County Zoning Ordinance Chapter 17.470, ________[wireless provider]________ is hereby providing you with notice of our intent to apply to Kitsap County to construct a Wireless Communication Support Structure that would be located at ________[address, longitude and latitude]________. In general, we plan to construct a support structure of ____[XXX]____ feet in height for the purpose of providing ________[cellular, PCS, etc.]________ service.

Please inform us whether you have any wireless facilities located within one mile of the proposed facility, that may be available for possible co-location opportunities. Please provide us with this information within ten business days after the date of this letter. If no response is received within that time, we shall assume you do not wish to pursue co-location at such site.


________[Pre-application applicant, wireless provider]________

F.    Discontinuation of Use. Any wireless communication facility that is no longer needed and its use is discontinued shall be reported immediately by the service provider to the director. Discontinued facilities shall be completely removed by the service provider or the property owner within six months from the time of discontinuance. An extension to this period may be granted by the director.

(Ord. 415 (2008) § 220, 2008: Ord. 309 (2003) § 2, 2003: Ord. 216 (1998) § 4 (part), 1998)

17.470.060 Conditional use permit (CUP).

A.    Decision Criteria. The intent of the CUP procedure is to determine the conditions under which a use may be permitted. These permits are subject to specific review during which conditions may be imposed to assure compatibility of the use with other uses permitted in the surrounding area. A CUP may be granted only if the following facts and conditions exist:

1.    The need for the proposed wireless communication support structure shall be demonstrated if it is to be located in a residential zone or within three hundred feet of an existing residential zone.

2.    An evaluation of the operational needs of the provider, alternative site, alternative existing facilities upon which the proposed antenna array might be located, and co-location opportunities on existing support structures within one mile of the proposed site shall be provided by the applicant. Evidence shall demonstrate that no practical alternative is reasonably available to the applicant.

3.    The proposed support structure satisfies all of the provisions and requirements of Section 17.470.050; and

4.    The proposed support structure location has been reviewed in a manner consistent with Section 17.470.030(B).

(Ord. 281 (2002) § 16, 2002: Ord. 216 (1998) § 4 (part), 1998)

17.470.070 Notification to Kitsap County Central Communications (CENCOM).

A.    Notice Requirement. Following the pre-application meeting, but prior to filing an application for a wireless communication facility, the applicant shall provide CENCOM with the location and technical specifications for the proposed wireless communication facility. This requirement will provide CENCOM with the opportunity to determine whether co-location of emergency service communications facilities is feasible. The application shall include any information that has been provided by CENCOM in response to the notice.

Wireless Communication Facilities Review Process Table 17.470.100



Administrative CUP

Hearing Examiner CUP

Whip Antennas

20 feet or less in all zones




Mini and Micro Facilities

on existing building or structure




Macro Facility

on existing building or structure




Support Structure

35 feet or less




Support Structure

greater than 35 feet





on or at existing facility at equal or less height than existing




1.    Development shall be consistent with the design standards of Section 17.382.030.

(Ord. 367 (2006) § 121, 2006: Ord. 216 (1998) § 4 (part), 1998)